It’s Going To Be

DSCF3046It’s going to be (fill in the blank).

Over the years, I spent too much time being critical of me. I would harshly judge my perceived failures and would doubt what I wanted to do. Not a pleasant place to be….unhappy with the past and fearing the future.

The tragedy of living like that is missing the peace of the present moment.

Recently, some of those thoughts returned as I work to finish my next book. Unpleasant, self-defeating thoughts.

When I talked with God about this, I received “It’s going to be….” and then God asked me, “What do you think I would say?” Wonderful question! As I started to fill in the blank, it is so obvious! Would God say:

It’s going to be terrible. It’s going to be a waste of time. It’s going to be useless. Of course not!

What I realize (again) is if I continue to write to glorify God, it is going to be awesome!

On our walk of faith, we may have the opportunity to talk with people who are facing regrets about their past and fearful of their future. We have an opportunity to be with them in the present moment where we can pray together and be blessed by God’s presence. We will have an opportunity to let them know…it truly is going to be ok…as we discover and share God’s grace, love, acceptance and hope.

“I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps on doing them until he gets a record of succesful experience behind him.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

What We Remember

IMG_2099Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with two friends who will be honored with a day in my next book. I don’t want to give away too much of their story, but would like to share an observation.

As we talked about their childhood and church experiences, Tracy recalled a song she would sing in school. With a smile on her face, she started to sing the first verse. Memories. Memories of faith.

We all have memories from our walk of faith. Sometimes, we just need to think about where we were and Who touched our hearts.

My prayer for today is very simple. Enjoy and share one of your memories of faith.

I wasn’t able to find who wrote the song Tracy remembered, but one of the verses is a wonderful way to begin our day!

“Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!”

Where Are I

DSCF3325-1Two months ago, Cheri and scheduled this morning to meet to discuss the publication of my next book. I took the time to call the restaurant and get specific directions so Cheri would have them. Our plan was to meet at 8:30.

As usual, I left early and arrived at the restaurant with time to spare. I was sitting in one of the rocking chairs relaxing when I realized Cheri was late. I figured she had an appointment before mine and would be arriving soon. At 8:45 I decided to give her a call which went something like this:

Hi Cheri, it’s Rick..where are you?

Hi Rick, I’m at Cracker Barrel, where are you?

Cheri, I’m at Cracker Barrel. If you look across the street do you see the giant Orange World tourist attraction?

No, I am near mile marker 4. Do you want me to drive there or do you want to meet me here?

I’m on my way.

As I drove from mile marker 11 to mile marker 4, I realized I didn’t print out the directions I provided for Cheri. I just had it in my mind where I was going to meet her. As I drove along, I was reminded of the time Dan and I were going to meet for coffee.

Hey Dan, it’s Rick…I’m at Starbucks, where are you?

Hey Rick, I’m at Starbucks.

Ok, it’s a trend which allowed me to think about how many times I have been lost in my life.

Today is a wonderful time to be thankful for friends who guide me.  I am also thankful for Cheri and her creative team at http://www.eabooksonline.com

With a goal of having my next book published in September, it is certainly good to have some direction! When Cheri and I left the restaurant, she took the time to have me look at the road and say, “You go that way!”

My prayer is for all of us to know our spiritual direction. I am a living example of one who gets lost and wanders but eventually finds my way. May we all find God’s way and will for the direction of our lives.

Common sense is not so common.”

- Voltaire

 

The Meaning Of Success

IMG_0168I remember being at the home where this image was taken and thinking about how successful the owner must be to afford such an amazing location.

One of my ongoing conversations with God is about the meaning of success, especially as it relates to my work. Although I never want to retire, I am thinking about possible retirement careers which would be meaningful and enjoyable. God continues to place one specific word on my heart during our talks: service.

My prayer is for us to talk with God about the meaning of work and the definition of success.

God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful.”

- Mother Teresa

 

Friday Focus

DSCF3321-1I would like to thank Judy for her comment yesterday which provides great examples of how we “wish” for time in different stages of our lives. My Mom would often comment on how quickly time seemed to pass as she looked back on her life. Perhaps that is why she would always remind me to count my blessings and appreciate each day.

How is our Friday focus? Are we looking ahead and thinking about the weekend or looking back and thinking about what took place?

Appreciating each day was the message in my devotional day, Lingering. I will again be donating to the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS chapter in Raleigh with a percentage of sales from my next book. I am thinking of including Lingering since it is dedicated to my brother-in-law, John.

My prayer is for us to appreciate this day. As it says in scripture, no amount of worry can change a single second of the past. Focusing on tomorrow can cause us to miss the blessings given to us today.

One of my blessings is being here with you. I am so thankful for our Discovering and Sharing Grace community and really appreciate your time and comments.

May our Friday focus be on faith as we continue to share God’s message of grace, love, acceptance and hope.

Keep your sense of humor, remain optimistic, and don’t forget to dream.”

John L. Bohnel

Quote inscribed on the Duke ALS Wall of Honor.

Is It Friday Yet

DSCF4043Sometimes on Monday mornings I find myself looking forward to the next weekend. One of my favorite questions these days seems to be, is it Friday yet?

As I drive to work these days, it seems I don’t have the enthusiasm I once did.

What happened?

After talking with God about this, I am able to see how I lost my perspective. By looking forward to the weekend, I was not focused on this day…this moment.

I was developing a plan of just getting through the days rather than appreciating and enjoying them.

Thankfully, through prayer, my perspective is changing. Perhaps the recent death of a high school friend magnifies how important this is. Today is what I have. Today is what we have.

Are we future-focused to the point of not appreciating today? My prayer is for us to talk with God about His plan for His day…this day. And for us to trust that Friday will get here no matter what day of the week it is!

“If you are not getting as much from life as you want to, then examine the state of your enthusiasm.”

- Norman Vincent Peale

Wandering Walk Of Faith

DSCF3884I read an interesting article today about a well-known college football coach who describes how his goals for retirement didn’t work out the way he planned. After retiring from a very successful career, he thought of playing golf, going to the beach and traveling with his family. Fast forward to today: he has been coaching for an additional ten years and seems to be having the time of his life!

I have shared my God-goal of wanting to live to a healthy 100 and continue working like one of my mentors, Father Bert. At this point, I have a general idea of my retirement careers…writing, photography and social service.

What about our wandering walk of faith and our willingness to work?

My prayer is for us to talk with God about His plans for our lives. We can talk with God about where He wants us to be and the work He wants us to do. There is so much work to be done.

Prayer does not demand that we interrupt our work, but that we continue working as if it were a prayer.”

- Mother Teresa